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Rihanna is back.

From the beginning of her career…Rihanna has been somewhat of a chameleon. It’s worked for her, seeing that she is currently one of the biggest names in pop music. Three of her last four albums have sold over a million copies, and with the release of her latest single “What’s My Name?” She’s scored her 8th No. 1 single.

Her success can not be denied.

Loud is a far cry from her previous album Rated R. The latter, being her first release post the domestic dispute between she and her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, found Rihanna in a dark place. Goth make up. Dark lyrics that teetered the line between angst and suicidal…just an angry girl.

Loud, clearly is a testament to her freedom from the pain…a declaration to the world that she’s back to being Rihanna, and that she’s learned from the mistakes of her past.

This new album is dance driven & very fun…whether it’s drinking with friends ( tracks like “Cheers [Drink To That]”) or…more private parties…displayed on tracks like “S&M”:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones/but chains & whips excite me”

On “Man Down”… Rihanna does something that she hasn’t done since her A Girl Like Me album, she brings out the island influence. Singing about the figurative murder of a boyfriend, Rihanna reminds everyone that she is Bajan, and it makes for some good music to get your dancehall wine on to.

Another stand out track “Skin”… finds Rihanna in full seductress mode… asking for her lover to wear only his skin. The beat hits hard…making it the perfect song for the DJ to drop right before the club lets out…you know when everyone’s trying their best not to go home alone.

There are only two features on the album… Drake on the now number 1 single “What’s My Name?”… and Nicki Minaj on the ladies anthem “Raining Men.” Both make for excellent songs to add to the party playlist in your iTunes.

Final Verdict: Pick up Loud if you’re a fan of Dance tracks. If not, there are still a few songs worth a download on iTunes. Its a solid effort, and much like Rihanna’s red hair…it’s very, very LOUD and fun.